Kainaz Karmakar Curated
Chief Creative Officer Ogilvy & Mather - West
CURATED BY :
What are your view on change in direction of creativity and storytelling after covid?
Tell us about your favorite creative project you've ever worked on, and why?
Along with my team and my partner Harshad Rajadhyaksha, I worked on the #endacidsale campaign in 2016. That remains my favorite piece of work because it changed the life of Reshma Qureshi, the acid attack survivor, who appeared in our campaign. The work won a lot across the globe, but even above that, the change I see in Reshma makes this one rise above anything else.
Any person you idolized creatively growing up?
My grandmother. She brought up three children on a very tiny income, so she had to be creative every day, just to survive. For example, she would alter old dresses into skirts to make them look new.
Can you tell about 10 years journey at Ogilvy?
We have received a lot of compliments on completing 10 years, but we have also been very lucky to have some absolutely passionate and stellar clients. We don't think this entire story would have been possible if we didn't have clients who believed in us so much.
How are you with standing the current crisis?
We block our ideation time as meeting time in our calendars so that we don't skip it because working in a lockdown requires an entirely different kind of discipline than you are used to at work. There are several distractions and no house help. We are working more than we ever did. But there is also the understanding that this time requires it. This is the time when we absolutely need to be by our clients’ side and partner them. This is the time that some businesses are genuinely in trouble and we need to support them.
Can you point out at one of your best work?
It's very difficult to single out but the Savlon Healthy Hands-Chalk Sticks would definitely figure in the top 4 or 5 pieces of work. The HUL shower ad is one that is very close to our hearts.
What would be your responsibilities as COO?
Anytime you change your role or take on more responsibilities, you have to magically find a way to do more. There is no logical way that anybody can handle the ship that is Ogilvy and find the time to brainstorm and create work and do everything that is expected. But somehow everybody at the helm of Ogilvy has been able to do it, starting with Piyush (Pandey) who is an absolute legend and force of nature. So Harshad and I have the same goal and luckily we partner Sukesh (Nayak) who also has the same goal. So we just have to keep expanding our day and learn the ropes and try to find a way whereby our work does not suffer.
What have you learned from industry stalwarts?
We all have looked upto the work of industry stalwarts like Piyush Pandey, Prasoon Joshi, Agnello Dias and many more who have constantly been churning out great advertising. ‘You don’t have to be like West’, the duo elaborated further – Be true to your culture, identify what makes the social impact on the country that you live in. Make it so great with the sharpness of the idea and the craft that it wins big. All the Indian creatives right from our own work on Savlon which reflected this to other agencies’ work like Sehat Ka Batwa – reflected the Indian reality and hence the solutions were that much India specific.
What is the importance of craft?
In the Cannes lions, the stuff that wins- Craft is critical. You cant just have an idea and expect the jury to award you for just that. If you see the craft of soya sauce posters you can see that the art director has taken everything inside him and poured it out onto the page. So, do not get a great idea and just relax, work on it implement it and there comes the result.
Do you believe studying trends is important?
While it is a great thing to analyse trends and read them not just for your educational and textbook purposes but everything that makes the cut over there. The work that really stands out is following and observing trends and then breaking threads. Only if you are going to stand away from the crowd is when you are going to achieve that supreme status of a Lion winner and that is when following the trends yet trying to stand out from them.
What are the ingredients of great ad?
To us, advertising how much ever complicated the jargons may get, it will ultimately remain about answering few questions, great and precise need is what needs to be set. We as creative communicators will always be what best can we say what needs to be said. So, the brief if it is very precise and sharp which tells you, then as a creative professional it’s your job to say it in a way that has never been seen before.
what was your favourite campaign at Cannes 2018
Palau Pledge campaign – incorporated a pledge that the tourist have to take as a part of their visa. It’s the pledge that you are signing to keep their island clean.
What would be your advice to other career women?
Excel at your work. Have a dialogue when something is bothering you. Being a woman, a wife, a mother, are all great qualities and only add to the wonder of what you can bring to an organisation.
How companies can improve gender diversity at the top?
By making it a priority. Believe it is important and you will find a way to achieve it.
What do you enjoy about your work?
To create. To enable people to create. To fight for what we create. I have never mistaken my visiting card for my job. My job was, is and will remain, making sure the best idea wins What I have learnt about work-life balance: At any given moment one part of my life weighs heavier than the other. There are times when my family needs me more than my work and vice versa. I like to be absolutely present in the moment and true to the moment. In the end, people don’t count how much time you spent at office or at home, but how you made them feel, when you were around them.